The End Of My X-Pro Era

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: GH3 vs XPro1 IQ...
In reply to marike6, Jan 28, 2013

marike6 wrote:

I'm glad you found a system that works well for you. m43 bodies are small, lightweight, and the system has an ever expanding lens line-up.

Regarding IQ, I realize that you are talking about the GH3, but having used the X-Pro1, GH2 and D800 fairly extensively, I'd say there is a big difference in IQ between these three cameras. For IQ, the FF D800 is unquestionably the best (resolution, high ISO, DR, color depth). Of course the trade-off is it's size. For the two smaller format cameras, for clean, detailed files with superb color (in many ways, significantly nicer than even the D800) the X-Pro1 is about as good as it gets for an APS-C camera. And even with the best glass, a GH2 or GH3 simply cannot match the IQ from the X-Pro1 or X-E1. Of course, there is more to photography than IQ. AF, handling, choice of lenses, etc all matter. But for 90% of general photography, I'd rather carry an X camera than any m43 camera. IMHO, the IQ from even the very best m43, the Olympus EM-5, cannot match the output from the XPro1/X-E1 (or the X100 and likely, the X100s for that matter).

For video, it's an entirely different story, and I could see buying the new GH3. For video work, as it, or a hack GH2 are about as good as it gets. But for traditional digital still photography, it doesn't get much better than the X series Fuji cameras. In fact, it is only the FF DSLRs like your D3s, D800, D600, et al, a Sony RX1, and the APS-C cameras like the D7000 or D5200 that match or exceed the files from the X-Pro1, IMO).

Of course with a DSLR, you are talking about larger, less portable cameras. But with the slightly larger and heavier bodies, you also get unequaled AF accuracy and AF Tracking abilities that no MILC with the exception of the Nikon 1 cameras can even get close to, and you get a huge and varied selection of lenses from UWA to super telephoto primes. Whether or not AF or AF tracking matter for your photography is another thing altogether.

The raw processing issues/problems with X-Trans, I believe software vendors are moving in the right direction. Capture One seems to have made some progess in this area. If a user can get past the somewhat messy GUI of Silkpix, it does a pretty good job. ACR is still not doing a good job, but I fully expect Adobe to improve their X-Trans RAW support to the point that it will no longer be an issue.

For Auto-Focus, clearly the X-Pro1 doesn't excel at capturing fast action. For general photography and static subject, it's more than adequate.

But I also believe that Fuji is moving in the right direction for AF and the new X100s (and X20) have introduced PDAF which will likely improve AF single shot and AF tracking considerably. The X-Pro2 and X-E2 will also almost certainly have some form of on-sensor PDAF. In contrast, even with the very best m43 cameras like the EM-5 and GH3, m43 vendors have not implemented PDAF. This omission has always surprised me since the m43 has been around for years. In contrast, the Nikon 1 offered PDAF cameras like the V1/J1 with blazing AF AND accurate AF tracking on their very first MILC. But still if you don't shoot sports, BIF, or any fast action, then m43 can certainly work well. Low-light/high ISO performance won't be anywhere near your D3s or even any of the better APS-C cameras, but like shallow DOF, that's just another trade-off that is easy to overcome with faster lenses.

For me, the IQ, lenses, and rangefinder-esque form factor of the X-System cameras are so fantastic, that I'm more than willing to put up with any idiosyncrasies. The images and shooting experience are so good, it's more than worth it. YMMV.

All the best and good luck, Markus

Excellent Post!

Spot on about all of the major pluses and minuses concerning the X-Pro 1/XE-1 - especially versus the 15mm 4/3'rds platform cameras.

I just can't personally understand how and why so many early adopters of the X-Pro 1 (like the OP), didn't more fully investigate and/or understand exactly what a camera like the X-Pro 1 was (and is), and what it wasn't ( a DSLR replacement), and also why it took a whole 10 months to finally realize that perhaps all these not so happy with the X-Pro 1 folks seemed to really want in the first place was a just a much smaller version of whatever DSLR they had been using before their original purchase of the Fuji.

As I said above, I came from a FF Canon 5D II. I knew right up front, in the very same time frame as the OP, almost some 10 months ago, that this the X-Pro 1 would certainly be a whole different kind of image capturing beast altogether for me - a kind of throwback imaging tool from my old Contax G and Leica M6 days - but also with a few of the more modern functions and features of today's digital cameras. As Leica's digital M never impressed my much - especially with what they actually offered for their highly overinflated price to overall performance equations, the Fuji X-Pro 1's was as close to what I had been yearning/looking for since my earlier analog film days.

The take away for me on this OP'ers X-Pro 1 experience is: perhaps some folks should be more diligent, careful, and thoroughly research any new photographic equipment before purchasing it -- even if it means waiting a couple of extra months before buying wholesale into any of the supposedly latest and greatest new camera outfits being released on the market -- as in: the OP'er purchasing all 3 original Fuji X-Mount prime lenses and X-Pro 1 body around the time they were first commercially available. That way, 10 months, or so, one shouldn't, or probably wouldn't then have to go on a forum like this one and publicly declare (lament) about having a bit of buyers remorse on being saddled with something that they could have very well avoided by being a little more patient, and deliberate at acquiring the right sort of tools (like the GH3) that better suits ones (DSLR-Like) needs, and expectations.

And after my own 10 month period of owning and working with the X-Pro 1, I absolutely love my it now, even more than when I first laid my grubby, and rather large mitts on her sleek, black body that wonderfully picturesque, early spring day...

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